Wed, 12 Mar 1997 13:34:46 -0500
From: "Paige, Emmett Jr., , OSD/C3I +" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 1997 23:17:00 -0500
>I GOT A LOT OF INPUT AND DISCUSSION BUT THE BUCK HAS TO STOP HERE.I DID
>WHAT I BELIEVE IS BEST FOR DOD AND HAVE NOT SAID NOR IMPLIED THAT ADA IS
>NOT GOOD FOR DOD.
>I THINK ADA WILL COMPETE BETTER WITHOUT THE MANDATE.
MR. PAIGE: I believe you when you say you believe removing the Ada
mandate can be good for both (1) the DoD and (2) Ada. As I said
before, my own personal sentiments have been the same. I am also very
sympathetic to the general notion that the Government should minimize
telling us contractors "HOW" to do our business, which I know is a
context of acquisition reform into which dropping the Ada mandate fits.
However, we both have to realize that the NRC Committee DISAGREED with
us on point (1) -- about the DoD's good.
The data the NRC Committee gathered added up to SUBSTANTIAL ADVANTAGES
from using Ada for high reliability, long-lifecycle evolvability,
etc. systems (which many feel describes more than just the DoD's
Couple that with the clear evidence of LOW PROSPECTS that other mature
or emerging languages have any prospect of closing the
high-reliability gap (even ignoring limiting the selection to
STANDARDIZED languages, which most of Ada's rivals are not).
Based on these findings, the NRC Committee apparently felt DoD's
overall interests would suffer if any language other than Ada is used
for this class of DoD applications in the near/mid-term future.
Enough so to justify continuing to tell contractors "How" to do this
aspect of business in this narrowed business domain.
Oh well, now we put all of DoD's eggs in the Software Engineering Plan
Review (SEPR) process if we think there's still a "Software Crisis"
that needs solving. The SEPR process will actually be very good if it
comes online right, much better than the Ada mandate alone! But we'll
never know if the SEPR *PLUS* Ada-for-warfighting would have been
better than either alone for the DoD going into the 21st century.